Evan Hassman Advances to Steeplechase Finals at NCAA Championships with Seventh-Place Finish in Prelims

Evan Hassman Advances to Steeplechase Finals at NCAA Championships with Seventh-Place Finish in Prelims

GENEVA, Ohio. - Sophomore Evan Hassman advanced through to Saturday's finals in the 3000-meter steeplechase by earning a seventh-place finish (of 20) in the prelims at the NCAA Division III Track and Field Championships on Thursday at the SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio.

Hassman finished fourth in his heat with a 9:14.67, just over one second behind heat-winner Daniel Rosen of Pomona-Pitzer (9:13.38) and just over five seconds behind the overall leader after prelims, Benjamin Schott of Messiah (9:09.51). With the top five in each heat earning automatic qualification to the finals (14 runners total), Hassman ran just hard enough to stay in the top five, finishing a half-second ahead of the fifth-place and sixth-place finishers (9:15.08 and 9:15.15) to ensure advancing through to Saturday. 

Also competing at the NCAA Division III Championships on Thursday for the Stags were sophomore Alex McDonald in the 400-meter hurdles, junior Maxwell Knowles in the javelin, and the 4x100 relay team of senior Matthew Guillory, sophomore Carter Henderson, freshman Jamie Cockburn and senior Corbin Bethurem. All three qualified for nationals by putting up historically strong performances in CMS history this spring.

McDonald tied for second all-time at CMS with a 53.10, the best time for any Stag in the 15 years since Roman Marenin set the record in 2004 at 52.68. Knowles had a javelin throw of 199 feet to win the SCIAC Championship, which places fourth in CMS annals and was the best throw for a Stag since 2008. The 4x100 relay, meanwhile, set a new school record with a 41.18 at the Azusa Pacific Twilight meet to earn its way to nationals. None of the three were able to finish in the top nine after the preliminary round to advance through to the finals, with Knowles falling five feet short in 12th place with his top throw of 188 feet. 

In addition to Hassman's steeplechase finals on Saturday, the Stags will also have freshman Miles Christensen running in the 5000 after winning the SCIAC title, putting two CMS distance runners in action on the final day of the NCAA Championships. The steeplechase finals will begin at 11:45 a.m. (EDT), while the 5000 will be the final individual event of nationals, beginning at 3:25 p.m.